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  • Headache

    I would love some advice on this issue.

    So for the past three-ish months I have been Primal. Weight loss doing good, energy doing good. Over all pretty damn good. However, a little over a week ago on Sunday I started to develop a really bad pressure headache. It started behind my eyes and moved to my entire head. I also became very queasy. At that time I figured it could be caused by a huge storm system coming through. I am sensitive to fast pressure changes. Took some motrin felt better about 30mins later.

    Fast forward one week. Friday night ate completely non-primal food, coupled with a lot of stress from the previous two days. Saturday back on the primal wagon and extremely sick. Monday woke up fine however around 10/11ish started to develop another pressure headache this one more intense then the one last week. Took some meds, little while later felt ok.

    Yesterday I felt ok, tired but ok. I took a lot nap in the evening and woke up feeling groggy and strange. Ate my usual primal food. At around 11pm I had 4oz of plain yogurt. Finally fell asleep around 12:30/1am.

    Woke up today, another headache. Same symptoms. Took some meds, those worked for about an hour but my headache is coming back again. Each time it seems to be getting worse and lasting longer. Making me dizzy, a little sick to my stomach, and well the pain. What could be causing this?

    Also, I have been getting a stuffy nose lately too. I'll get it for apparently no reason. Such as yesterday I was fine, went to starbucks with a friend (I drank herbal tea, no cream, no sugar). However, I was developing the worse stuffy nose. Again today when I was taking my clothing out of the washing machine. I haven't changed my soap or anything. Now its gone.

    I'm 24yrs old
    around 118lbs
    I'm hypoglycemic but Primal eating pretty much takes care of that
    I take a multi vitamin and fish oil every day. Periodically I take Pro-biotics.
    I am prescript appetite control medication due to binge eating. The binge eating actually developed as a result of other medication I was previously on (previous to the medicine I never had a problem with binge eating). Right now my doctor is weaning me off the medication however, since remaining almost 90~95% primal for the last 2 months I haven't felt like I need to take it anymore. I am taking about 1/3 the dose of a normal person. In two weeks I will be completely off it. I have skipped days of taking my meds before and they have never caused headaches.

    My normal day look like this
    Breakfast: if I feel like eating I might have some 2 eggs with spinach, heavy cream or coconut milk (maybe 2tsp) mushrooms, onions (1/6 of a baseball sized one), red peppers if I got them, and 2 or 3 oz of some other kind of meat. (butter or coconut oil in pan)

    Lunch: Similar to breakfast if I didn't eat breakfast. Or might have meat (4oz) stir fried with some veggies (onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, broccoli, spinach) then mixed that with half an avocado, lemon juice and eat it over some mixed greens (about 2 cups or so).

    Dinner: Pretty much similar to the other meals. I mix up my meats (about 6 oz) and veggies and spices, lots of garlic, but yeah pretty much eat this a lot. I might throw some cheese on it usually only 1 or 2oz.

    About twice a week I eat a primal snacks. I usually choose one or two of these. I DON"T EAT THEM ALL AT THE SAME TIME!! 22 almonds, 22 walnuts, 4oz plain full fat yogurt, 1oz or 2 of cheese, or fake bread (three eggs, 4oz cream cheese, psyllium husk 1/2 tsp, pinch of salt. Makes about 8 little muffin things) I might eat 2 to 4 of these as part of a meal or as a snack. And jerky. These days I am eating tuna jerky (27g of protein 5g carbs)

    Ah all my food is cooked in either butter, coconut oil, or olive oil.

    So if you have any insight on why I am suddenly developing these headaches please tell me!!
    Height: 5'2"
    Starting weight: 180lbs
    Current weight 130lbs

  • #2
    Today I wanted to go lift some heavy things and go on a hike, however, this headache is making it quite difficult. I am super dizzy right now and my eyes are actually having a little trouble focusing. Though my energy level seems pretty good. I hate sitting around when I want to do things
    Height: 5'2"
    Starting weight: 180lbs
    Current weight 130lbs


    • #3
      First thing that comes to mind is to start taking a magnesium-supplement 2 hours before bed. I know it has helped lots of people with headaches in the Leptin-tread. 400-800 mg daily, start low and build up until the headache goes. Another thing I would highly recommend is to see a chiropractor. The reason I think they could fix it is when you mention stuffiness. Chirps fix headaches and stuffiness by adjusting tension in neck and cranium. I have taken my entire family over the last couple of years, and we really get fixed every time.


      • #4
        I get some sinus inflammation from one of the drugs I take. It took me a while to figure out what was going on though because my symptoms were headaches and severe dizzyness/vertigo. I didn't even realize that the problem was coming from my sinuses. Could you be having some seasonal allergies?

        The other thing that comes to mind is dehydration/electrolyte depletion. Can you add in some bone broths made with real sea salt a few times a day for a while?
        Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )


        • #5
          @ Glamorama: adding magnesium to my diet certainly wouldn't hurt. Though I might have to wait a while to see a chip. unfortunately. Thanks for the advice.

          @ Jammies: I have never suffered from seasonal allergies before, although I know they can start at any time. I have been taking my meds for a while and never had a problem with stuffiness, however, I guess in two weeks I'll if they are the cause. Unfortunately, I live in South Korea and bone broth is incredibly hard to find. You can buy pre-made bone soups, but not the broth. I also can't make any myself. Do you think powder beef broth would work?
          Height: 5'2"
          Starting weight: 180lbs
          Current weight 130lbs


          • #6
            It sounds like either a Ketosis headache from eating extremely low carb (which I understand goes away after your body adjusts - I am dealing with this now) or going off your meds. If you've skipped doses before and not experienced side effects, this most likely has to do with the half-life of the drug. My understand is that if it's built up in your system, skipping a dose or two doesn't completely rid your system of the drug...but going off or reducing your dosage might? Anyone know anything about that?


            • #7


              • #8
                I recently stopped taking my seasonal allergy medications (except for nasal spray, post nasal drip ruins my life) and have experienced headaches like you describe as well. The symptoms from the allergies are pretty minimal since going primal though, so I am not sure this is the reason.

                I will be trying the magnesium as recommended.
                Depression Lies


                • #9
                  I would look at migraine triggers . I know for me it usually takes a combo of a number of triggers together to actually form a migraine. Stress is a big underlying one for me that makes all headaches a little more frequent.

                  I hope you figure it out soon - that sucks. I also wouldn`t worry too much about working out in the middle of a bad headache.

                  A joyful heart is good medicine

                  He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliot

                  Mmmmm. Real food is good.

                  My Journal:


                  • #10
                    Thanks for all the advice. I actually got tired of being in pain around my house (Like I said my energy levels were good) so I went to the gym. Walked there, took about 30mins. Tried to exercise i.e. lift every things. My work out kind of really sucked. But towards the end of it FINALLY my headache went away!! I then proceeded to take a walk for 2hrs.

                    So I am thinking that maybe it is related to going into Ketosis for too long. Or in activity? Last week when I got one I had just been sitting in a car for a few hours and only done some brief walking. I was at an aquarium so no big energy expenditure. Missed my morning workout that day too. Hmm.

                    Thanks for everyones help and advice. I'm still trying to get my hands on some mag., and I'm going to check out the migraine trigger post. Before the only thing that ever gave me migraines was the pill. I'll also try playing around with carbs to see if that makes a difference. Although, I use to eat sweet potatoes but they stalled my weight loss.

                    Do you know a good moderate carb source? Not as high as sweet potatoes but not really low either? ((Oh I don't do fruit (accept for the occasional berries) for two reasons: one it completely stalls my weight loss and two I have/get systemic yeast infections)) Thanks again for everyone's help!
                    Height: 5'2"
                    Starting weight: 180lbs
                    Current weight 130lbs


                    • #11
                      I used to get migraines about once every two years, but started getting them every few days about a month ago. I started writing down everything I'd ingested prior to the headache, both food and supplements, and found the one thing in common every time I was getting a headache was sausage. I looked it up, and sure enough, nitrates are a migraine trigger. I should have known better than to eat nitrates anyway, but figured it was one of the things I could be imperfect about. Nope. I stopped eating sausage and have not had a headache since. I'd just keep a very detailed log every time a headache comes on until you can find the common link...if indeed it is something you're ingesting that's triggering it. Your food looks really clean though, so I don't know. I hope you can figure it out though...nothing puts a halt to your day quite like a splitting headache.

                      I've been in ketosis for months and I haven't heard of that causing headaches beyond the initial adjustment period.


                      • #12
                        Agreeing with the magnesium supplementation. It has really helped with my migraines, and I seem to only get them now when I normally would AND forget to take my magnesium. You can get it pretty much anywhere.


                        • #13
                          i just wanna say "sorry!" to hear about your headaches (or anyone's, for that matter). When i was like 7, 8, 9 yrs old, I would get devastating migraine headaches. OMG it was terrible. I would pretend i didn't have it for as long as i could, usu until i barfed, and i couldn't hide it anymore. Then it would be like 8 hrs of suffering til it went away. I never knew what caused them and i don't know why they stopped happening, but I was truly grateful that they did. My suspicion is that it was stress but i don't know why an elementary school kid would have stress. Probably food related but i don't remember changing anything about how i ate from age 9 to 10!

                          I just want to extend my hopes that you figure it out. Not much is worse than a migraine headache.


                          • #14
                            You might want to look at this thread on histamine sensitivity. Lots of the foods you mention eating are on the list.

                            Newcomers: If you haven't read the book, at least read this thread ... and all the links!

                            Jan. 1, 2011: 186.6 lbs PBSW Mar. 1, 2011: 175.8 lbs
                            CW: 146.8 lbs
                            GW 140 lbs
                            A proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals